NEW YORK (AP) – World Trade Center rebuilding officials have reached out to a mediator who helped administer a Sept. 11 victims’ fund to help foster discussions between creators of the International Freedom Center and family members opposed to its inclusion at ground zero.

Peter Woodin will guide discussions between Freedom Center officials and family members who have expressed concerns, to help ensure the discussions’ “constructiveness and productivity,” said Stefan Pryor, president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which is overseeing downtown rebuilding.

Woodin has been working in his own dispute resolution firm since December. Before that he worked with Kenneth Feinberg, the special master of the $6.9 billion government compensation fund for Sept. 11, 2001, victims. Woodin was a deputy special master of the fund.

Woodin already has begun to reach out to the involved parties, Pryor said Thursday, although no formal meeting between museum officials and family members was announced.

LMDC officials said last month that the Freedom Center, chosen more than a year ago to occupy part of the rebuilt World Trade Center site’s cultural space, would have to submit more detailed plans about its content by Sept. 23 in response to family members’ concerns the museum would contain disrespectful exhibits. The LMDC said it would find another tenant for the space if the new plans aren’t satisfactory.

Some family members have said the Freedom Center planned anti-American exhibits, while others said it was inappropriate to have a museum dealing with subjects other than Sept. 11.

Museum officials said the center would be respectful and would celebrate America and freedom.

“We welcome any opportunity to present our own plans and engage in constructive dialogue,” the center said in a statement.


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